The Importance of Feedback and Community with Locals and Visitors in my Little Beachside Community and Beyond

Essay by Luke Foster

“The greatness of a community is most accurately measured by the compassionate actions of its members.”

 Coretta Scott King

I moved to this sleepy beachside town about six years ago and have been away to New York for a month for a residency and a residency for a month in the Blue Mountains too. However, its so great to return to my little community of neighbours, Baristas, people I meet beach walking like Geoff and taxi drivers who I chat with and Mel and Craig at the post office.

At the close by café the baristas and chefs are: Kyla-barista, Asha-barista, Ocean-till girl, Ellen-till girl, Rachel-barista, Jaya kitchen/out front, Jon-chef, Dani-chef, Andrea-chef and the manager and all- rounder Kyla.

Because they are so kind to me, I give them drawings sometimes.

I am starting to realise why I get lonely and sad sometimes it’s because there isn’t a balance in my life. I feel one needs to have a mixture of solitude and community as a creative and I have lots of solitude with my two-hour daily beach walking but I still don’t have enough community.

Most importantly without the feedback from the locals and visitors I wouldn’t be able to write my essays or make my art projects. Its all about getting feedback from the locals my friends I meet and those I don’t meet and weighing it all up intuitively and then making decisions.

At the supermarkets, restaurants, all kinds of shops and bunnings and the taxi drivers are all so kind. There is also a nice little community with my neighbours Nick and Steve and we all help each other ie Nick gets my mail for me and packages when I am away. When we pass each other in the hall or stairwell we stop for a friendly little chat.

In conclusion community is incredibly important as no person is an island and no person can achieve anything alone but only as part of a community.                                                                                                          

I pass Geoff on the beach every morning and we stop a few times as we pass each other for a little chat. I worked up the courage today to ask if we could have a photo together.